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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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dare hardly even contemplate.
<c I should have liked to refer to the question of the Baltic States, because
I believe that their future and the future of Poland are bound up closely
together . . . the situation in the Baltic States now controlled by Russia is a
very serious and a very ugly one.    If hon. Members would get the most
recent Bulletin of the Institute of International Affairs and will read the
part which deals with the four countries> I think they will have an eye-opener.
I believe that Poland should engage our attention even more, because
Poland is a test case., not only of what is going to happen between now and
the end of the war but of the peace treaties, when we coine to that period.
" Poland is entitled to full respect from the people of this country.    It
is not only because, as many hon. Members have said, she has fought so
gallantly in the war and not only because we came into the war to defend
Poland against German aggression,, but also because she is a very ancient
State which., in spite of four partitions, has still maintained within its borders
a strong people, speaking a distinct language and with a strong and powerful
racial sense.    In spite of all those vicissitudes, she is determined to remain
an independent nation.    After all those terrible times that they have had,
in the last 200 years—and indeed before,, when they were standing up to
the Asiatic hordes—when Poland was attacked by Germany she was the
first country in Europe which stood up and fought, because she was deter-
mined not to be overrun by German aggressors.    She fought with very
little hope,, but she fought it six weeks in circumstances of great gallantry.
" Now we are asked;, and our attention is focussed upon this possibility
of handing over half Poland, that is to say, up to the Curzon Line, to Russia.
I am not going to ask whether the peoples on the East of the Curzon Line
are Russian or mainly Pole and I do not agree with the hon. Member who
spoke earlier as to racial alignment.    It is not necessary, for the reason that,
on four successive occasions, treaties have been made, freely entered into,
by the Russian Government and by the Polish Government on the matter.
It was first laid down in the Treaty of Riga in 1921, and then confirmed in
the treaties of 1932, 1934 and 1941, what those boundaries were.    After
1921, at the time of the Treaty of Riga, the boundaries were never in dispute
on any occasion.    Why then are they in dispute now ?     There can be
only one answer.    I beg His Majesty's Government to look at the crude
realities.    There can be only one answer why they are in dispute now, and
that is because Russia says she wants that particular territory.    It is the only,
the inescapable, conclusion, that we can draw from that.
" Since 1921, Russo-Polish relations have been, on the whole, fairly good
until of course in 1939 when that unfortunate affair happened, when Russia
entered Poland behind the back of the Polish Armies, and seized a certain
portion of Polish territory. Then, after that, relations again happily im-
proved when, as a result of the German attack on Russia, Russian views on
these matters underwent a very great change. In General Sikorski's
premiership, as we all know—and this is important—a Treaty, the fourth
Treaty, was freely entered into between Poland and Russia which read as
follows : e The Government of the U.S.S.R. recognise the Soviet-German
Treaty of 1939 as to territorial changes in Poland as having lost their validity/
The result of that Treaty was clearly to undo the effects of the Russian
action in 1939 and to revert to Poland's pre-war frontiers. At that time the
present Secretary of State welcomed that agreement: < His Majesty's
Government in the United Kingdom has not undertaken any obligations
to the U.S.S.R. which would affect the relations between that State and
Poland. I also desire to state that His Majesty's Government does not
recognise any territorial change made in Poland since August, 1939/